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Visit Florida Emerges As Contender As Rain-Soaked Second Half Wears On

Wayne Taylor Racing loses lap lead as rain forces lengthy safety car periods

With 9 hours of the Rolex 24 at Daytona still to run, three cars are back on the lead lap, with the #10 WTR Cadillac leading, the #90 Visit Florida Riley emerging as a challenger over night in second and the #5 Action Express DPi-V.R third.

There’s been muiltiple caution periods due to the weather, which has got progressively worse, the rain continuing to come down hard, causing the race organisers to neutralise the race for over an hour.

The #10 Cadillac held a healthy lead up front as the race entered its second half, but a drive-through penalty for the team refueling without the a fire extinguisher on hand promoted the Visit Florida and Action Express Cadillac to the lead lap, and with Rene Rast at the wheel, the Riley into the top spot for a short period of time.

Fourth sits the #2 ESM Nissan Ligier of Pipo Derani, which is the team’s only challenger left after Brendon Hartley in the #22 had two offs in the wet as we reached Sunday morning while running second, before side-swiping the wall on the NASCAR Turn 2 banking after being hit by the #991 TRG Porsche. Hartley, unable to steer the car, then came to a halt on the entrance to the Bus Stop, forcing the organisers to load the Ligier onto a flatbed to get it back to the pits.

Another victim during the night in the Prototype class was the #31 Action Express Cadillac which was recovering from its earlier repair work when Eric Curran brought the car in with a shifter issue with nine and a half hours to run. The car has subsequently dropped out of contention.

In GTLM, Risi Competitizione leads the way with its Ferrari now fifth overall in the standings. Behind are the two Porsches, the #911 leading the #912, with the first of the Fords now the #66 in fourth and the #3 Corvette fifth. The top seven in the class are still on the lead lap though, and therefore in contention for the win as it stands.

GTD sees six cars still on the lead lap meanwhile, with Acura leading the way; Oz Negri in the #86 leading the Stevensen Audi and sister #93 NSX GT3.

The other three cars on the lead lap are the #33 Riley Mercedes, #29 Land Motorsports Audi and #28 Alegra Porsche.

Of the contenders which have gradually slipped down the order in the GTD class, the #50 was the most prominent. A cation period was called after Cooper MacNiell limped back to the pits on lap 393 with significant left-front suspension damage. MacNiel had contact with inside wall entering infield, in the same place as Scott Pruett had his shunt in the opening hours.

PC is still led by Performance Tech, though the gap is down to two laps over the #20 BAR 1 Oreca.

With the rain continuing to fall, and predicted to continue until well past sunrise, it’s not clear how long the current FCY period for the conditions will continue.